God is our Bread of Life

Purpose: to help the children relate to the idea of God as our nourisher and provider – He is the bread of life.

Lesson Introduction:
Start with a make-your-own snack today – cinnamon rolls

This lesson teaches the children that the Bible calls God our bread, so I opted to begin the lesson by allowing them to make their own homemade rolls from pre-made bread dough. Our children’s church happens in the Fellowship Hall of the church, right off the kitchen, so it’s easy to make snacks onsite as part of the lesson.

Since I’m an avid baker, I already keep the basic bread-making staples on hand which makes this an inexpensive snack. It also offers an interactive opportunity for the children since they will be shaping their own rolls. I taught this lesson in October so there was an abundance of fresh apples at very reasonable prices (I already had a large quantity on hand to make applesauce so there was no extra cost for children’s church.)

I made a batch of bread dough ahead of time so it was ready as soon as we got into children’s church. While the children washed their hands, my helpers divided the dough so each child had a piece to shape. They flattened their dough on a plate, brushed on a little softened butter, sprinkled on cinnamon-sugar, added a few diced apples and rolled it up jellyroll style so it made a 3 to 4-inch log (about the thickness of a marker, depending on the size of the apple chunks). Then they coiled the log so it made a circle and placed their finished roll on a greased cookie sheet. Each child marked their roll with a toothpick “flag” (a toothpick with a small piece of foil at the top. Their names were embossed on the foil with a pencil.) We baked them in a 400 degree oven until golden brown.

When the rolls are in the oven, begin the story time

Story: Use the 10 to 20 minutes while the bread bakes to talk about how every culture has some form of bread.

Have children name as many kinds as they can – French croissants, English muffins, Irish soda bread, Mexican tortillas, Jewish unleavened bread, etc. whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, etc. You might also want to have samples available if you have any varieties on hand.

The Bible talks a lot about bread – you can briefly talk about several stories or choose just one.
1. There’s manna, the God bread given to the children of Israel in the wilderness.
Exodus 16:31
The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
2. God provided Elijah with bread. 1 Kings 17:1-6
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.
3. The tabernacle furniture (table for the Bread of Presence) Exodus 25:30
Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.
4. Passover – Exodus 12:8
That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.

New testament:
1. The little boy’s loaves and fish. Matthew 14:16-20
And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
2. The day I taught this lesson, we served communion so I reviewed what the communion bread meant with them Matthew 26:26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Memory verse: John 6:35
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (NIV)

Serve snack when it’s done baking.

Suggested Activities to complement the lesson:
– Edible play dough – Recipes available online http://www.familycorner.com/family/kids/crafts/edible_play_dough.shtml
– Bread Clay – Recipes available online Bread dough beads http://crafts.kaboose.com/bread-dough-beads.html
– Make bread in a bag: http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/cafe/breadinabag.html
– Coloring sheets that go with the lesson (Google the key words “bread coloring pages”)

Our God is EL – Introductory lesson on the Names of God for children

Study on Names of God for Kids

Introductory Lesson –  What’s in a name?

Purpose:
To introduce the children to the idea that God has names which show His character and His acts to us.

 Story Time:

Names are important. Everyone has a name.
Ask how their parents picked out the names of the boys and girls in your class?

Discuss naming customs with boys and girls here:
a. Using a baby naming book
b. Using a family name for a new baby like a Grandparent’s name or other relative, dead or alive)

Discuss some cultural naming practices – go online and look up “baby naming customs.” (Key word search)
a, African Naming Day – a festive event about a week after a baby is born. An older person gives the baby its name, whispering it to the baby first so it will know its name then shouting it out to everyone who attends the ceremony.

b. Giving of secret names – These names remain a secret until the child reaches the age of puberty. It may be an event that the child is named for.

c. Names that reflect a child’s personality.

For example, the Bible character Jacob got his name because it means “liar.” Jacob tricked his brother Esau and stole his birthright. Later he tricked his father in law because his father in law was trying to trick him.
(Briefly review  the story of Jacob  stealing his brother’s birthright in Genesis 25:19-34 &  Genesis 27:1-40)

 We all have names and each of our names has a meaning. Do you know what your name means?

(Look up each child’s name and tell them what it means from a baby or some other kind of character naming book. This may be available in the public library if you don’t have a copy on hand. You may also look up their names online at:
www.babycenter.com
www.parents.com 
or Key Words: baby names and meanings 

Tip:Be sure to look up their names ahead of time to save time and so you don’t lose their attention (I learned this the hard way LOL!).

Does the meaning of your name fit you?

Did you know that God has a lot of names too? Some of his names tell us about who He is. Other names for God tell us about what He does. For the next few weeks we are going to begin to learn about some of the names of God in the Bible. The first one is a Hebrew name and is very easy – EL.

 This name for God is used 250 times in the Hebrew translation of the Bible. It means “mighty, strong and prominent.”

 

Suggested children’s song:

 Our God is EL (To the tune of our God is so big)

 (Tip: Use the sign language letter “L” as God’s Name – Hold thumb and first finger in the shape of an L and move from left shoulder to the right hip to make the sign language sign for Lord)Children enjoy motion with their songs – the more the better. Make up other motions to fit the song.

Our God is EL
So strong and so mighty
There’s nothing our God cannot do
(Repeat)
The mountains are His
The valleys are His
The stars are His handiwork too
Our God is EL
So strong and so mighty
There’s nothing our God cannot do
That’s True!

 Our God is EL
So strong and so mighty
There’s nothing our God cannot do
(Repeat)
He made the trees
He made the seas
And He made you and me too!
Our God is EL
So strong and so mighty
There’s nothing our God cannot do
That’s True!

Memory verse:   “And God said to him, “I am God Almighty…” Genesis 35:11

 God told Jacob His name was EL when God changed Jacob’s name from “liar” to “Israel” – “He who struggles with God.” God who is strong and mighty can change a person’s name and their nature. He can change our hearts from  sinful to clean.

Activities:
Name plates – Supplies needed – clay and alphabet cutters. Roll out clay and cut edges so it is a rectangle shape. Use alphabet cutters to make names for the plates. Or make letter freehand. I used Sculpey clay which needed to be baked at 275 degrees for 10 minutes. You could use air dry clay, play dough or home made clay.

-OR- 

Initial Characters – Give each child a sheet of paper. Using large paper stencils, draw their initial on the paper and color it. Add wiggle eyes, yarn hair, pompom nose and felt mouth or other features to create a character with their initials.

 

 

 

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